A Foolproof Guide to Picking a World Cup Team

By Jessica Zischke, The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 7/8/14 3:00am

Jessica Zischke, The Dartmouth Staff

Courtesy of DreamWorks / via somegif.com

You might still be in denial, but the US is officially out of the World Cup. Now there’s a void in your soul and you don’t know what’s missing. But we do. That’s why we’ve created this highly scientific, not at all subjective guide to help you pick a team to root for in the remainder of the World Cup.
Over the weekend Colombia, France, Costa Rica and Belgium were eliminated in the quarterfinals. That leaves Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands and Argentina to face off in the semifinals starting today. So which team will it be? Let’s find out!

1. Do you have family or friends in any of the countries?
In the name of solidarity, it’d be easiest to go with that choice if it applies. But if not (or if you’re a rebel who won’t be defined simply by the people you surround yourself with), then it’s on to question 2.

2. Did/will you study abroad in any of the countries or do you speak the language?
If you did study in one of these countries, chances are you’re rooting for them already (study abroads tend to form deep loyalties). And even if all you took was one year of German in seventh grade, that’s a viable reason for cheering on Germany!

3. Are you particularly attracted to any team?
Whether you’re drawn to a particular hairstyle or how tight a team’s jerseys are, you probably have a preferred eye candy on the field. Numerous scientific articles on the fact have been published in the past weeks, like this one from BuzzFeed and another from Vogue, two highly revered journals in the community. (Brazil’s Neymar Júnior was the highest ranked player of the remaining teams in both of these research papers…just saying.)

4. Do you like an underdog?
Argentina has only beat the Netherlands once out of their last eight matches against each other. Then again, the Netherlands have never won the finals. Brazil is heading into the semifinals without its star player, Neymar, due to an injured vertebra.

5. When in doubt…
If you’re really at a loss, you can root, root, root for the home team (if they don’t win it’s a shame, so they say). Plus, as the country with the most wins in the World Cup, it’s a pretty good gamble.

Jessica Zischke, The Dartmouth Senior Staff